The Ngamiland International Trade and Agricultural Expo (NITAEX) held over the weekend has come and gone, and held without the much anticipated hive of activities. This, the organizers said was so because the committee did not get the promised sponsorship from the various companies who had pledged support.
The lineup of expected activities amongst them the cheetah donkey derby, a football tournament, horse race event, to mention but a few, did not take place. People had expected to see basket and other artifact exhibitions, but they were a rare sight as exhibitors did not show up for unknown reasons, according to the planners.
The event coordinator, Boyce Sekgoma said the expo was managed though Rartchetscapes Investment (PTY) LTD, an event management company that had interests in playing a leading role by way of re-introducing the show, which was last held some 20 years ago.
He said their main aim was to promote and connect Ngamiland with both regional and local markets, thus aiding foreign direct investment and local investment in the district and beyond. He said after the 20 year gap, the committee now wants to turn the show into an annual event which will help showcase business entities and opportunities that are found in Ngamiland.
“Although we had teething problems here and there, we finally managed to make this day what it is today. This was just the beginning of good things to come, and so we are just hopeful that the event will grow with time. We are hopeful that each year will bring change as we will work hard to bring a lot of difference from what you see today. Ngamiland as you might be aware, is a blessed and unique district, and so this should trigger our minds to acknowledge and take advantage of this rare opportunity and use it to its best possible potential,” he said.
The event’s guest speaker, business man John Wellio, said expositions such as NITAEX are of tremendous importance as they contribute immensely to cooperation ties between Ngamiland district and the rest of the world.
“You are all aware that our district is the richest in terms of natural resources. We also have lots of fish at Lake Ngami and all of our rivers. This therefore means we should venture into the processing and distribution of this commodity and many others to countires that border Botswana and far. Be encouraged also, to spot a need and venture into hotel and hospitality industry, arts, crafts and textiles as they stand to benefit you, considering the large numbers of tourists who throng our districts from across the globe,” he said.
Wellio also said that Ngamiland people should not be discouraged by the Foot and Mouth Disease which hit the district and affected the livelihood of people.
Most people still have not been able to sell their cattle, despite efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture to assist where possible.
He said the theme of the show: ‘Ngamiland for and beyond a wildlife based economy-exploring new avenues’ is relevant to the district, as it is an international tourism and investment destination, adding however that people should not put their focus on tourism only, but explore other available opportunities.
He urged other traders to work with Rartchetscapes Investments and take the expo forward as it has proven it can contribute to the economy of the district.